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Do we really need two bouncy jigsaw puzzle globe boxes? ħumanUser talk:Human 00:35, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

They direct to different things, which is nice, but the second I think could be an external link. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 13:54, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Example of the technology in action[edit]

...or at least of its portrayal in fiction :P The Nano Factory. --ZooGuard (talk) 16:20, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Links I'm not sure you have[edit]

Not sure you want to link to Mark Pack, who seems to just repeat other's assertions but unlike them presents no argument *and* isn't a recognised authority in a relevant field *and* is bugfuck. This [1] is also pretty obviously too crazy to use.

Shame the SPOV limits the usefulness of your work, but I didn't want to lose these links and I thought you'd find them useful! Ciphergoth (talk) 17:52, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Locklin's referenced in the quote at the top as well as further down. Mark Pack = Mark Plus? He's relevant as a cryonics advocate pointing out that trusting in impossible devices is probably not helpful, surely - David Gerard (talk) 22:42, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
here's a link to some problems with MNT that would need to be overcome to turn it from speculation to reality Dancreepermaker (talk) 23:46, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

Audi R9[edit]

Hilarious: " formed from nanotechnology material (which is yet to be discovered)..."

Note, this is not the official Audi version, it's this Garcia guy's version. ħumanUser talk:Human 23:17, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

PS, it's self-repairing paint and glass that can have its color changed at the push of a button. Awesome... ħumanUser talk:Human 23:19, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I can't decide if that is cool or awful. Definitely one of the best abuses of the word "nanotechnology", though. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 14:29, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Problems (cut)[edit]

I have pulled the following section for now:

Nanotechnology as an idea doesn't have any problems per se (especially considering that any nanotechnology that does have problems, doesn't exist), however there are problems with some of the public depictions or expectations of nanotechnology, especially if portrayed as "just around the corner" instead of part of the abstract sci-fi realm along with things like anti-gravity.

Consider the grey goo scenario. Such a scenario would require a very fast replicating machine, capable of deconstructing all kinds of material around it and creating more of itself. Said machines are often depicted abstractly yet similar to "metallic" tiny robots, complete with miniature power tools, miniature propellers/jet engines and miniature pistons, despite the fact that such technologies don't scale at that level.

Other problems with that scenario include the simple fact that metal takes a lot of energy to forge. There's a reason that life is the only successful self assembling and self replicating nanotechnology so far: because life's constituent materials are relatively easy to put together or take apart. Metal isn't. Or rock. Or plastic. Such miniature robots would not only have to find those energies but also utilize them in ways that wouldn't destroy themselves. It could be possible for nanobots to gradually assemble machines that ultimately make themselves, but at no point should it be expected that they could do so within seconds, while eating buildings. This means that everyone's favorite grey goo might in reality not be faster than life is (which, it should be noted, has actually been optimized for de-constructing/re-constructing the environment around it through billions of years of genetic algorithms) and it would be an achievement if it spread itself at the rate of mold rather than something like this.

It is also likely if there ever were to be a scenario of a quickly self-replicating device that could consume anything with a net gain in metabolic energy it would have already occurred naturally.

The main practical problem with nanotechnology is the phrase being overused as funding hype for what anyone else would call material science or synthetic biology.

The central thesis of this paragraph seems to assume nanobots are metallic and pretty much how you see them on Star Trek etc. I don't think even the woo-iest of nano enthusiasts seriously think that. Nanobots, if they came to fruition would be carbon based and extremely similar to organic organisms, the "problems" addresses problems with the Sci-fi depiction, not realistic depictions. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 17:17, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, this section was always a bit weird, seems like sort of a brain-dump of random ideas and fallacies about NT. The first and last paragraphs seem ok though. ħumanUser talk:Human 19:37, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
First and last restored - David Gerard (talk) 20:31, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
I only cut those as well because they don't really do much on their own. The rest could be remodelled into a "pop culture" section, perhaps, showing how the sci-fi depiction is unrealistic. As most people will think about magic robots when they hear "nanotechnology" it would be worth discussing - although that might be changing with real nanotech getting into the public eye, I tend to think of rotaxanes when hearing the word, robotic nanites are quite far down the list of associated imagines. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 08:53, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Gravel analogy[edit]

I was talking to a friend who used to be a chemist working at nanoscale. He seems to share Armondikov's exasperation with "transhumanists" who have as little respect for chemistry as they do for biology. I gave the factory analogy as my understanding of the problem, and he said "And the gravel is sticky." Armondikov, does this strike you as a good analogy? ("Oh, and the machines are also made of sticky gravel" would probably be gilding the lily but might bludgeon the point home if the original analogy doesn't.) - David Gerard (talk) 11:49, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

I don't know what you mean, really, but it made no sense in the article. ħumanUser talk:Human 11:57, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
It's an analogy of what would actually happen if you tried what Drexler claims - David Gerard (talk) 12:09, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Oh. I get it now. It's in reference to how things don't mechanically scale down to the nano world. In some respects it's true. We can produce a huge amount of energy relative to the hydrogen bonds holding water molecules together - so we and wade through it like a liquid. At a smaller level, it'd be like wading through sand because you can't produce as much energy to break those bonds. You'd be carried around by the current of brownian motion much more. As a specific example, the flagellum wouldn't work on our scale, but it does work at a much smaller scale because mechanically, water is closer to sand. That's why our current "nanomachines", i.e., enzymes, don't have working arms and mechanisms but rely on diffusion to just bring molecules over to them. Don't misunderstand me entirely, these things could move and move incredibly fast, but you need quite a thermodynamic driving force to do it. The gravel analogy may just misrepresent that, but it seems a good way to put it. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 16:49, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Science woo nanotech could be dangerous! What's the solution?[edit]

DRM, according to Michael Anissimov of the SIAI. And keeping it all proprietary. 'Cos I'm sure nothing could ever break out of that and people wouldn't do everything they possibly could to break free of it. Anyway software patents help innovation and open source can't compete with proprietary. I'm most comforted that minds like this are looking out for our interests - David Gerard (talk) 22:57, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Goodpost.gif That first link is full of stars, indeed. I am so glad our mentally fuscated overlords are taking care of these non-existent issues for us! ħumanUser talk:Human 03:59, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
I've just realised - while transhumanists routinely throw biology out the window, and the ones who trust in nanobots throw physics and chemistry out the window, what we have here is a transhumanist casually throwing mathematics out the window - David Gerard (talk) 19:48, 14 November 2010 (UTC)


It seems this gee-whiz bit of science fiction now has its own Wikipedia article which has survived an attempt at deletion. Vaporware though they be, I see no harm in keeping a bullet in the list for them, but will bow to the will of the mob. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 09:28, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

This section appears generally to be about stuff that does or can exist, not pure paper hypotheticals. "Current technology could not build a respirocyte due to considerations of power, immune reaction or toxicity, computation and communication" — this suggests it is an impossible use, rather than a possible one. Unless respirocytes have been invented in practice and are presently more than a Drexlerian's fever dream on paper. Lots of Drexlerian fever dreams have Wikipedia articles, which is more a testament to Drexlerians' stupendous output of paper (as opposed to output of nanotechnology) than any reality - David Gerard (talk) 10:51, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I was the one who put it back in in the first place, and thus support the will of the mob in this. Also, "Fabrication - that material of unprecedented microscopic complexity can be constructed better than by conventional means. Nanotechnology building other pieces of nanotechnology is also one of the dreams" and you want to complain about respirocytes for not being possible? Look, it's the logic train, and it isn't stopping here. -- Iscariot Andy Schlafly for Congress 2012! 16:55, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
When I added the item I was hoping that the "holding your breath til you turn blue" bit was going to be a snarky dogwhistle pointing at the general development level of nanotech True Believers. Not a denier, I have a Sandia electron micrograph of some MEMS gearwheels in my wallpaper rotation. Still, from where I sit, the line between credibly realistic nanotech and fever dreams is not all that crisply drawn. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 18:38, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Given here we have a mob of three and two votes for inclusion I have returned the bullet to the list for now. -- Iscariot Andy Schlafly for Congress 2012! 07:27, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

I can live with this. That said, I don't like the section much at all. I might rewrite it as an answer to "why the word 'nanotechnology' attracts funding" - David Gerard (talk) 15:50, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Most part of this article is plain lie. (talk) 04:55, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Missed this Locklin post at the time[edit]

[2] By the way, half the links he says "will die soon" are dead, two months later - David Gerard (talk) 22:05, 8 February 2013 (UTC)


By Armondikov: Nanotechnology ate my hamster - David Gerard (talk) 14:37, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Read the comments. I think we've discovered the transhumanist Ken DeMyer - David Gerard (talk) 22:53, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Science woo ?[edit]

"The popular conception of nanotechnology is K. Eric Drexler's concept of nanobots, like industrial robots scaled down a billion times. This is entirely made of bollocks and would violate physics, chemistry, and thermodynamics." But... Isn't life an example of self-assembling molecular nanotechnology? If life exists, then our physics allows for programmable systems which use similar processes (talk) 16:10, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

The key difference is that "industrial robots scaled down a million times" here is an almost literal description. In contrast, life as we know it is mostly built of not-very-nano blobs of goo.--ZooGuard (talk) 17:12, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Drexler popularised made-up bollocks; all the example of life shows is Feynman's original assertion that there's plenty of room at the bottom - David Gerard (talk) 23:39, 22 June 2013 (UTC)


The term 'colloidal nanoparticle' is a bit redundant, a colloid and a nanoparticle are basically the same thing, a bit like saying ATM machine or PIN number. The color of gold colloid solutions range from purple to red, depending on the particle size. Silver colloids are yellow. Gold nanoparticles are used for drug delivery (medical, not recreational), bio-sensors, catalysts, surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), study of gold leaching reactions (like in my PhD study)and DNA microprobes.--Cmbisme (talk) 13:23, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Tweaked - better? Armondikov wrote that as a chemist, perhaps he thought the redundancy worked for explanatory power - David Gerard (talk) 16:42, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Possible (and not quite so possible) uses[edit]

I don't like this section. It mixes up reality and woo, and mixing reality and woo is part of the problem. What to do with it? - David Gerard (talk) 16:44, 10 July 2014 (UTC)


Homeopathy is more and more claiming to be applied nanotech. Some mention would be worthwhile, no? Scream!! (talk) 15:41, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Go for it! - David Gerard (talk) 11:58, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Term not used by experts?[edit]

The state of New York just built the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (which shares a campus with SUNY Albany but is officially separate now), and they definately use the term nanotechnology. So, even if the majority of the experts aren't using it now, the cultural shift is to move towards it. Actually, the existence of colleges dedicated to it might be something that should go in the article. --PosthumanHeresy (talk) 14:13, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

Where did you get "term not used by experts"? It's used a whole lot, and the article says so - David Gerard (talk) 16:40, 25 January 2016 (UTC)


Has anyone on this wiki even read nanosystems? Because this article contains many misconceptions and a few outright fallacies that I'm pretty sure are addressed in nanosystems. — Unsigned, by: Dancreepermaker / talk / contribs

If you think something's amiss, then go forth and edit the article! Worst case, we revert your changes. Just remember to bring sources in ref tags! Reverend Black Percy (talk) 11:02, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
Pretty sure Armondikov (an actual chemist, who has argued nanotechnology at length with its chemically illiterate propopents and wrote large chunks of this article) has - David Gerard (talk) 15:35, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
In particular, he wrote the chunk you just tried to delete - David Gerard (talk) 09:46, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
I deleted that chunk because while it may be amusing to "Imagine what manufacturing would look like if your machines' gears rotated randomly, the size of the gears' teeth fluctuated randomly, everything (gears, grippers, working materials) was coated in glue and the whole factory burst into flames at the first hint of rust." many if not most of the statements about are addressed in nanosystems. and as for Armondikov having read his blog post and its comments section while I'm convinced that he does seem to have a knowledge of chemistry as evidenced by his ability to use Science words however that is the only thing that Armondikov convinces me of aside from the fact that he was unable (or unwilling) to respond to MOB's counterarguments. so yeah aside from Armondikov who ELSE on this wiki has read nanosystems?Dancreepermaker (talk) 14:29, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
cool story, bro - David Gerard (talk) 14:53, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

Class Rating[edit]

This article should be reviewed for bronze, silver or gold status. I'm unclear about the procedure and cannot find where to add or nominate it. --Vital Forces (talk) 15:40, 28 October 2017 (UTC)

  • Bronze: just add the bronze icon if you think it warrants it.
  • Silver: best discuss on talk first (say, a week)
  • Gold: complicated faff that also includes a week's discussion

- David Gerard (talk) 14:33, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

I think it's silver level. --Vital Forces (talk) 23:32, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
Could do with polishing, but it's got the material IMO - David Gerard (talk) 22:26, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
RationalWiki:Article rating should have your bases covered. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 23:50, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
I'd say it has potential for silver but seems worthy for bronze at a first glance. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 23:51, 5 November 2017 (UTC)